Sarah McLeod (musician)

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Sarah McLeod
Sarah McLeod (6465322649).jpg
Sarah McLeod, Hard Rock Cafe, Sydney, December 2011
Background information
Birth name Sarah Yvette McLeod
Also known as Sammie Scream
Born 1 February ca. 1974
Origin Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
Instruments Vocals, guitar
Years active 1994–present
Labels Cassette Entertainment, Festival Mushroom, Naughty Mouse Ink, Sony BMG Australia, Roustabout
Associated acts The Superjesus, Black Diamond Express, Screaming Bikini

Sarah Yvette McLeod (born 1 February ca. 1974) is an Australian singer-songwriter and musician. She fronted a rock band, the Superjesus, from 1994 to 2004. The group won two ARIA Music Awards and they shipped over 300,000 units during their career. McLeod's debut solo album, Beauty Was a Tiger, was released in September 2005 and peaked in the top 40 on the ARIA Albums Chart. Her single, "Private School Kid" (July 2005) also reached the top 40, on the related ARIA Singles Chart. In October 2007 McLeod was described as an "iconic Aussie rock chick" by Alison Stieven-Taylor.[1]

Early life and family[edit]

Sarah Yvette McLeod,[2] was born on 1 February ca. 1974.[3][4] Her parents are Don and Rosemary; she grew up in Adelaide with her older sister, Leah McLeod (born 1971), a former TV presenter.[3][5]

McLeod attended St Peter's Collegiate Girls' School and started singing in her late teens. She commenced a university course studying to become a stockbroker.[6] In 1990 during a holiday, with friends at a Bali night club, she was invited to perform with a local band.[6] McLeod later remembered "I could already play a bit of guitar by then and did little more than sing and play to my buddies at home."[6] Upon return to Adelaide she left uni and formed her first group, Fallen Down Monster (FDM).[6] She displayed her rock-chick characteristics and honed her vocal and guitar skills, and fun-loving, energetic stage presence. FDM performed indie band covers,[6] McLeod wrote original tracks which were not recorded.

The Superjesus[edit]

Main article: The Superjesus

Late in 1994 she joined Chris Tennent to form an indie guitar rock band, Hell's Kitchen, which later became the Superjesus.[7][8] Australian musicologist, Ian McFarlane, described McLeod's "captivating voice and melodic rhythm guitar."[7] In May 1996 the group issued their debut four-track extended play, Eight Step Rail, with all the tracks co-written by McLeod with her band mates.[9] Jonathan Lewis of AllMusic noticed McLeod's singing: "Sounding like a cross between Liz Phair and Catatonia's Cerys Matthews, McLeod's voice was a major drawcard; strong, confident and rarely lapsing into the girlishness that characterized some of the Superjesus' contemporaries."[10]

At the ARIA Music Awards of 1997 the Superjesus won Best New Talent for Eight Step Rail and Breakthrough Artist – Single for "Shut My Eyes" / "Eight Step Rail".[11] For the Superjesus' first album, Sumo (June 1998), McLeod and Tennent co-wrote most of the tracks.[9] The group released two more albums, Jet Age (October 2000) and Rock Music (May 2003), before they split in 2004.[8]

First album: Beauty Was a Tiger[edit]

In 2005 Sarah McLeod launched her solo career, she signed with Festival Mushroom Records,[12] releasing her first single, "Let's Get Together", in May.[13] Julianne Galvin of FasterLouder described her solo material "Some of the new songs have been described as more narrative in style than some of her previous work"; McLeod told Galvin "'I used to just sing because there had to be words', she says of her songwriting ability circa Superjesus, 'whereas now, I’m more into the lyrics'."[14] Her debut solo album, Beauty Was a Tiger, followed in September that year;[13] it was co-produced by McLeod with Matt Lovell.[15] All the tracks on the album were written either by McLeod or with Chris Peters, bass player from the Detroit band, Electric Six.[15] It peaked at No. 31 on the ARIA Albums Chart.[16] For touring her backing band, the Black Diamond Express, consisted of Patch Brown (guitar), Grant Fitzpatrick (bass guitar), Stu Hunter (keyboards) and Mick Skelton (drums).

Following the release of another single, "Private School Kid" (July 2005) – a duet with Chris Cheney from The Living End – McLeod parted ways with Mushroom Festival Records. It peaked at No. 33 on the ARIA Singles Chart.[16] During 2006 she released two more singles, "All But Gone" as an independent EP, and "He Doesn't Love You"; both included remixes. In October 2006, the Hook n Sling remix of "He Doesn't Love You" reached No. 1 on the ARIA Club Charts.[17] It was released in the United Kingdom and the US where it "became a smash hit in dance clubs".[12] During 2006 McLeod performed solo acoustic gigs which led to an Australian tour, playing tracks from Beauty Was a Tiger, some old Superjesus material and a few cover versions.[12]

Live & Acoustic[edit]

In October 2006 Sarah McLeod released her second solo album, Live & Acoustic.[18] It was issued in the United States in February 2007.[19] McLeod worked on a follow up album. She spent much of 2007 and 2008 first travelling in the US and then living in London, where she recorded songs for the album. She previewed a track, "Love Will Conquer All", on her MySpace page in 2007. Subsequently other tracks were released online, "Sometimes Love" and "No One's Ever Died of a Broken Heart". In October 2008 McLeod worked on more demos and added a cover of "Leaving on a Jetplane" to her website. In November 2009 she released a single, "Tell Your Story Walking", an electronic, New Wave sound of the 1980s music[citation needed] which became a surprise hit in the club scene[citation needed]. The second single, "White Horse", was a hit in clubs both in Australia and around the world[citation needed].


In 2009 Sarah McLeod posted further material including "Love to Last". In August 2010 she released a single, "Double R", with remixes by John Roman, Autoerotique and Grandtheft. It was followed by a cover of Bruce Springsteen's "Dancing in the Dark".[20] Her third album, Madness, appeared in November that year, which included both "Double R" and "Dancing in the Dark".[21] McLeod, using the pseudonym Sammie Scream, started a new group, Screaming Bikini, which issued a single, "Easy", followed by their debut album self-titled album in May 2011.[22]

From November 2012 the Superjesus reunited, initially for a concert in Adelaide in the following February; it was followed by an Australian tour in May and June 2013.[23] In 2013 McLeod released an EP, 96% Love Song Book, under her own name. It was influenced by her love of 1950s and 1960s music and contained an a capella, barber shop quartet track, "The Greatest Pretender". In 2014 McLeod and Jeff Martin (of the Tea Party) released a duet single, "Man the Life Boats"; they toured Australia to promote it.

In 2015 the Superjesus combined with Baby Animals for a co-headlining tour, She Who Rocks, during May to June.[24] The Superjesus issued their first single in 12 years, "The Setting Sun", in June.[25]



List of studio albums, with selected chart positions and certifications
Title Album details Peak chart positions Certifications
Beauty Was a Tiger 31
Live & Acoustic
  • Released: December 2006[18][26]
  • Label: Naughty Mouse Ink
  • Format: CD
  • Released: 22 November 2010
  • Label: Roustabout Records/Universal Music Australia
  • Format: CD

Extended Plays[edit]

List of extended plays, with selected details
Title Album details
  • Released: 3 December 2010[27]
  • Label: Roustabout Records
  • Formats: Digital download
96% Love Song Book
  • Released: 24 February 2014[28]


Year Song AUS
AUS Club Album
2005 "Let's Get Together" Beauty Was a Tiger
"Private School Kid" 33
2006 "All But Gone"
"He Doesn't Love You" 99 1
2009 "Tell Your Story Walking" Single Release Only
2010 "White Horse" Untitled EP
"Double R" Madness
"Dancing in the Dark"
2011 "Love & Honour" 12
2014 "Man the Life Boats" (by Sarah McLeod and Jeff Martin) Single Release Only
"Scouts Honour" 96% Love Song Book


  1. ^ Stieven-Taylor, Alison (October 2007). Rock Chicks: The Hottest Female Rockers from the 1960s to Now. Sydney: Rockpool Publishing. ISBN 978-1-921295-06-5. 
  2. ^ "'Private School Kid' at APRA search engine". Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA). Retrieved 14 September 2015.  Note: User may have to click 'Search again' and provide details at 'Enter a title:' e.g Private School Kid; or at 'Performer:' Sarah McLeod
  3. ^ a b Grant, Sarah (29 December 2009). "Superjesus's Sarah McLeod: I Just Wanted to Grow Up". Yahoo7. Retrieved 14 September 2015. 
  4. ^ Gibbs, Ed (19 January 2014). "How I unwind: Sarah McLeod". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 14 September 2015. 
  5. ^ "Series 1: Episode 6 Under Achieving Garden". LifeStyle: Home. Foxtel. Retrieved 15 September 2015. 
  6. ^ a b c d e Jay Beaumont, ed. (26 February 2015). "Interviews: Sarah McLeod". Greater Port Macquarie Focus (112): 15. Retrieved 15 September 2015. 
  7. ^ a b McFarlane, Ian (1999). "Encyclopedia entry for 'The Superjesus'". Encyclopedia of Australian Rock and Pop. St Leonards, NSW: Allen & Unwin. ISBN 1-86508-072-1. Archived from the original on 28 August 2004. Retrieved 14 September 2015. 
  8. ^ a b Holmgren, Magnus. "Hell's Kitchen/The Superjesus". Australian Rock Database (Magnus Holmgren). Archived from the original on 11 October 2012. Retrieved 26 September 2015. 
  9. ^ a b "'Ground' at APRA search engine". Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA). Retrieved 14 September 2015.  Note: User may have to click 'Search again' and provide details at 'Enter a title:' e.g Ground; or at 'Performer:' Superjesus
  10. ^ Lewis, Jonathan. "Eight Step Rail EP – Superjesus". AllMusic. All Media Guide. Retrieved 15 September 2015. 
  11. ^ ARIA Music Awards for the Superjesus:
  12. ^ a b c Gutierrez, Evan C. "Sarah McLeod | Biography & History". AllMusic. All Media Guide. Retrieved 26 September 2015. 
  13. ^ a b Cashmere, Paul (18 April 2005). "Sarah McLeod signs with FMR". Undercover News. Paul Cashmere, Ros O'Gorman. Archived from the original on 18 May 2005. Retrieved 26 September 2015. 
  14. ^ Galvin, Julieanne (28 June 2005). "'Let’s Get Together' with Sarah McLeod". FasterLouder. Junkee Media. Retrieved 26 September 2015. 
  15. ^ a b McLeod, Sarah; Lovell, Matt; Peters, Chris; Hunter, Stu; Melder, Shane; Peters, Drew; Cheney, Chris (2005), Beauty was a tiger, Naughty Mouse Ink: Festival Mushroom Records, distributor, retrieved 26 September 2015 
  16. ^ a b c d Hung, Steffen. "Discography Sarah McLeod". Australian Charts Portal. Hung Medien (Steffen Hung). Retrieved 14 September 2015. 
  17. ^ "The ARIA Report: ARIA Club Tracks" (PDF) (868). Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA). 23 October 2006. p. 19. Archived from the original (PDF) on 20 December 2006. Retrieved 26 September 2015. 
  18. ^ a b McLeod, Sarah (October 2006), Live and Acoustic, Naughty Mouse Ink. National Library of Australia, retrieved 26 September 2015 
  19. ^ "Live & Acoustic – Sarah McLeod". AllMusic. All Media Guide. Retrieved 26 September 2015. 
  20. ^ Padgett, Ray (3 August 2010). "Song of the Day: Sarah McLeod, 'Dancing in the Dark' (Bruce Springsteen cover)". Cover Me. Retrieved 26 September 2015. 
  21. ^ "Madness / Sarah McLeod [sound recording] / – Version details". Trove. Roustabout Records. National Library of Australia. November 2010. Retrieved 26 September 2015. 
  22. ^ Williamson, Brett (23 August 2011). "Sarah McLeod's new Screaming Bikini". 891 ABC Adelaide. Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC). Retrieved 26 September 2015. 
  23. ^ Egging, Kiel (7 March 2013). "The Superjesus Announce 'The Resurrection Tour'". Music Feeds. Retrieved 26 September 2015. 
  24. ^ Pinnegar, Shane (22 May 2015). "Interview: Sarah McLeod, The Superjesus". 100% Rock Magazine. Retrieved 26 September 2015. 
  25. ^ Culpan, Troy (4 June 2015). "The Superjesus have signed with Social Family Records and announce their new single, 'The Setting Sun'". May the Rock Be with You. Retrieved 26 September 2015. 
  26. ^ "Sarah McLeod: Live & Acoustic Sarah McLeod". iTunes. Retrieved 26 September 2015. 
  27. ^ "Untitled – EP: Sarah McLeod". iTunes. Retrieved 26 September 2015. 
  28. ^ "96% Love Song Book – EP: Sarah McLeod". iTunes. Retrieved 26 September 2015. 

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